How to Get Driver License in Gurgaon

After figuring out the way to get HSRP in Gurgaon or Gurugram, I decided to figure out how to get Driving License in Gurgaon or Gurugram. The process is simple, time needed is not much and yes there are few challenges you’ll face.

There are two parts to it – first you’ll have to get a Learner’s License and then you’ll get the Permanent Driving License.

Learner’s License: To get the Learner’s License in Gurugram, you’ll need to do as follows;

  1. Be prepared with the following documents
  • Two passport size photographs
  • ID proof – PAN Card is fine
  • Date of Birth proof – Matric/10th Class certificate
  • Address proof – you need minimum of 2 but my advice is carry more viz. copy of cooking gas booklet, copy of rent agreement (if living on rent), electricity bill (if own the house), copy of passbook of a PSU/nationalized bank, copy of address proof document from office (if working), copy of your company ID proof and any other valid document you have and you think can be helpful
  1. Go to Ekal Seva Kendra at the Mini Secretariat in Gurgaon. It’s on the ground floor and there is option of paid parking inside the complex
  2. Buy the Learner’s License form/file for Rs 50/-. This particular counter keeps moving so will not confuse by mentioning its exact space. When I visited last, it was the first counter on your right
  3. The file has Learner’s License application form, medical form and space to paste/staple your ID, address proof and date of birth proofs
  4. Fill all the forms and go to the medical room which is behind this room. Pay the fees there which is about 150/-. A doctor present there will sign and stamp your medical form
  5. Come back to the first room where you got the form and go to Counter No 3 – this usually has long queue but if everyone waits for his and her turn then the queue moves very fast
  6. At the Counter No 3, there is separate line for ladies and senior citizens
  7. The clerk at this counter will check your documents/proofs and if satisfied will sign it too
  8. After the clerk signs it, go back to medical room area, there would be a queue for computer based test to check your knowledge about rules related to driving
  9. This test is little tricky – you have to get 6 answers right out of a total of 10. You get 30 seconds to answer each question. Some questions are easy but some are as weird as they can get, e.g., one question I faced was about permissible speed of auto rickshaw, another on the permissible limit on protruding things/carriages from a trolley. Thankfully I got 6 right out of 9 – my score card didn’t show that I had solved 10 questions
  10. Don’t take this test lightly since a lot of people fail it and if that happens you have to get a new time to retake the test
  11. If you are smart, do Google search and you’ll get a PDF that has all the questions and correct answers too, apparently
  12. If you are successful at the test, they will click your picture there and ask you to pay the fees
  13. They’ll give you a receipt/counterfoil – this is your Learner’s License till you get your actual license delivered at your address through post. I got my Learner’s License after 6 week

Permanent Driving License: One month after the day you got your Learner’s License, you are eligible to apply for Permanent Driving License in Gurugram. You’ll need to have the original Learner’s License and counterfoil won’t do

To apply for Permanent Driving License in Gurugram, do as follows;

  • Be prepared with following documents (don’t ask me why they need these again)
  • One passport type photograph
  • ID proof – PAN Card is fine
  • Date of Birth proof – Matric/10th Class certificate
  • Address proof – you need minimum of 2 but my advice is carry more viz. copy of cooking gas booklet, copy of rent agreement (if living on rent), electricity bill (if own the house), copy of passbook of a PSU/nationalized bank, copy of address proof document from office (if working), copy of your company ID proof and any other valid document you have and you think can be helpful
  1. Go to Ekal Sewa Kendra and buy the Permanent Driving License form – it is fairly cheap and is available at the same counter from you got the Learner’s License file/form
  2. Fill the form and attach your Learner’s License in original in the file
  3. On the other side of road, right opposite the entrance to Mini Secretariat, is the Driving Test area. If you go in the morning you’ll see long queues of cars (many with L sign) parked there.
  4. The Permanent Driving License test happens only in morning, before lunch and it happens from Monday to Friday
  5. When your turn comes, your file will be checked (Form and Learner’s License only) at the gate and you’ll be allowed to enter the test area. Only drivers who have come for the test and their cars are allowed inside.
  6. Before the test starts, they will explain you the rules – listen carefully and most importantly – while driving for the test be patient, don’t hurry at all. Take your time, irrespective of how good a driver you think you are. When I took the test, out of about 20 folks almost 15 failed.
  7. In case you don’t qualify the test, you are free to come again after a week and retake the test. If you fail 2nd time too, you can come a 3rd time and so on
  8. Make sure you don’t wait till the 6th month of your Learner’s License ‘cause if you are not able to qualify and valid time period of your Learner’s License is over, you’ll have get the Learner’s License issued again – which means going through the whole grind again
  9. After you have passed the test, go to Counter Number 3. The clerk there will check all the documents and sign it
  10. After that you will go to the counter next to no 3, submit your file there and pay the fees which is about 560 – if don’t carry change don’t expect to get balance back
  11. At this counter they will also give you the counterfoil/receipt which becomes your valid ‘Permanent Driving License’ till the actual one is sent to your address by post. They say it will reach you in a week but don’t count on that.

If you found this information useful, please share through your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and all other modes. This can save everyone’s time and money.

Stem Cell Banking: preserving Cord Blood and Umbilical Cord Tissue of your new born baby

Though still in its nascent stage, the idea of Stem Cell Banking by preserving the Cord Blood and Umbilical Cord Tissue of your new born baby is fast entering the consciousness of Indian couples. Keeping the need and benefits of Stem Cell Banking aside for a while, the path to arrive at the right decision and then choosing the right bank is full of innumerable hurdles, uncertainties, scattered information and unavailability of true sources of knowledge.

I am no expert on Stem Cell Banking, but any experience can be worth sharing if it can provide some information, maybe slight food for thought.  But one experience must be treated as just ‘one experience’; it may not be perfect in every sense but can still turn out to be slightly useful if nothing else. And what I can definitely do is, keep the information simple, direct and put it across using words which we understand and not what ‘haematologists’ and ‘stem cell bankers’ talk about.

I won’t delve into technical mumbo-jumbo, let the experts on Stem Cell Banking in India enjoy that. For a parent, what is more important is what I wish to talk about.

What is stem cell banking?

I’ll stick to what Stem Cell Banking in India means in the context of new born babies, which is to preserve the cord blood (this is the blood left in a newborn baby’s umbilical cord and placenta, which otherwise would have gone waste) and umbilical cord tissue of your baby right at the time of his/her birth, i.e. at the time of delivery.

Why two? What is the relevance of cord blood and umbilical cord tissue?

Stem cells derived from cord blood can be used to treat diseases related to blood like blood cancer, Thalassemia, etc. Stem cells derived from umbilical cord tissue (mesenchymal) can be used to treat diseases related to tissues, muscles and organs like liver, kidney, etc. This kind of somes up Stem Cell Banking in India.

Why Stem Cell Banking?

Well, on growing up if unfortunately a child gets infected with certain diseases, Stem Cell treatment could be able to cure the same. Right now, it is claimed over 70 diseases can be cured using it including certain cancers, diabetes, etc. Since cord blood and umbilical cord tissue are the richest sources of stem cells, preserving the same sounds like a logical decision.

Stem Cell Transplant

While Stem Cell transplant takes place, there is a factor/count called HLA that is matched. A baby’s own stem cells are a perfect match, HLA 6/6. Similarly, it is a very close match for a sibling too. This implies one child’s stem cell would be a very good match for the sibling too.

You can use a donor’s stem cell only if the HLA match is sufficient, which is very difficult. To put it simply, it is like blood group matching, you can only use blood group if it matches, is same blood type.

Are there other sources of stem cells in body?

Yes, stem cells can be derived from bone marrow, and few other options are there too. But these sources are not as rich a source of stem cells as cord blood and umbilical tissue are.

Stem Cell treatment availability in India and World

In general, the stem cell treatment is an evolving method of treatment and has not yet arrived at a point where every hospital has the capability to do so. In India there are hospitals treating patients using stem cells and I have personally met a family who have a child treated and cured of Thalassemia by a hospital in Delhi.

The future looks promising and more diseases will hopefully be cured through stem cells by more and more hospitals.

Stem cell banks in India and what they offer

A quick Google search will show that there are many stem cell banks offering storage facilities in India. They all have more or less similar offerings though they may be packaging it differently.

Difference in what is being offered and promised and what is being delivered

Now, to me this is the critical point. All stem cell banks in India use fancy terms, scientific nomenclature and ‘global free delivery’ services but when checked whether they have actually done so, they would have no example to quote. Can’t blame them either since the whole system in India has just started and focus so far has been more on getting the cord blood and tissue preservation then using the same for treatment.

Treatment is the Key

Stem Cell Banking sounds so good to hear, but the real thing is actual usage and treatment using the stem cells. Some of the Stem Cell Banks do mention list of hospitals and actual treatments which have happened in India and that is what could be most important factor.

Where stem cell banks will confuse you

  • Capabilities:

All stem cell banks say they are the best, which is fine since every marketer says that. But if they realize that you have some knowledge and you may be exploring other banks too, they will use everything in their might to discredit the other.

  • Global Linkage:

They all back up their claims of being good enough based on their tie-ups with some global/international player. Some of the claims stem cell banks on India make are actually about the partner, like ‘N’ number of samples that they have cryo-preserved successfully.

  • Accreditation:

They all flaunt impressive set of “accreditations” but as it stands, there is no accreditation body in India for stem cell banks and there appear to be no rules, regulations and guidelines to govern and monitor stem cell banks in India. Globally, there are some accreditation bodies.

Single and Dual Storage

This is one of biggest bones of contention and point of confusion since there is only one stem cell bank offering dual storage in India. Dual storage should mean they will have two identical samples for you, one stored in each of the two facilities. This looks like a double ‘insurance’, in case one sample is destroyed for some reason the other one is still available for you to use.

Truth behind Dual Storage

  1. If offering dual storage was such a plus point, why only a handful companies are offering it. Even at a global level, I found one such stem cell bank in Australia, one in Europe and one in US and this number didn’t impress me. Moreover, none of them categorically states on their website what exactly they mean by dual storage.
  1. Even an intensive Google search didn’t reveal any good technical papers scientific research document, etc. for someone to check, understand and learn about the exact process and guidelines on stem cell storage, single or dual.
  1. One of the stwm cell banks, which is not offering dual storage, told me that dual storage is a myth. Their sales team said that technically it’s impossible. What can be done and what the companies offering dual storage are doing is: in one facility they will keep the cord blood cell sample and in the other facility they will keep the umbilical tissue same. Since both these samples will give different sets of stem cells, practically there is no dual storage. I did some research and called them back to say that there claim/logic seems to be flawed and unsupported. Then they made me talk to their lab head, the scientist, who after 5 min discussion with me ended up agreeing that cord blood cell quantity and the science behind it is such that it can’t be stored in two samples, however, umbilical cord tissue can have two samples and hence can be stored at two places, quantity-wise and science-wise. Thus agreeing dual storage is in fact possible, albeit in a limited manner. I asked for them to email me links to research documents and scientific studies to back/support their claim, which though promised by them were never sent to me.
  1. The stem cell bank offering dual storage has staked the claim that both cord blood and umbilical tissue can be segregated into two samples and hence storage at two different places thus ensuring two samples for each of them is available. However, after 30min discussion, they also confirmed that for the cord blood, one sample would be of less quantity (5ml) and other will be bigger (20ml, I guess). So if 20ml sample gets destroyed, you still have 5ml sample. Considering 5ml appears to be very small sample and what if more blood was needed, their response was that “clinical expansion” is done at time of extraction (free of cost, by all the stem cell banks) and this will have no bearing on the final quantity of stem cells.

Whether to go for Stem Cell Banking or not?

Talk to your doctor, check with your friends, talk to all the banks, take a call and get the best offer for stem cell banking. There doesn’t seem to be just one right or wrong answer, it will boil down to your decision and just stick to that.

How to Get High Security Registration Plate for Your Car in Gurgaon

How to get High Security Registration Plate (HSRP) for your car (especially if you didn’t buy it recently) in Gurgaon? (How to get Driving License in Gurgaon, click here)It can be a pain – a pain I had been suffering for a long time now. But after doing a lot of research, bashing my head everywhere, trying all modes – surfing internet (forums, websites, etc.), making phone calls (RTA and SDM office – hats off to the gentlemen and lady who picked 3 calls I made to them and gave me all the information I desired and didn’t mind repeating one thing even thrice, and that too with complete politeness), trying car dealers (from whom I bought), probing friends and foes alike (can’t name them here), visiting all possible places (Mini Secretariat, areas around it), I finally figured out how one can get High Security Registration Plate for his/her car in Gurgaon. And I thought I should share it with everyone.

  • If you are not a new car owner (if you bought it last year or earlier)… Click here
  • If you are a new car owner… Click here
  • If you own a bike… Click here
  • If you own a truck, heavy vehicle, etc… Click here
  • To apply online http://linkutsav.com/haryanastatus/ (shared by Arihant in the comments below)


If you are not a new car owner (if you bought it last year or earlier)… 

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I had bought my car last year and been trying to get the High Security Registration Plate for it for couple of months now. Sometime back I found out where exactly they install it and the process around it (found it to be useful for new cars only) but biggest of the issues was figuring out the very first step for a car which was bought in the past. Thankfully, I managed to crack the code and here’s the step-by-step process that you need to follow;

Step 1: You need to get the authorization letter for High Security Registration Plate for your car. For this, you need to visit the Ekal Seva Kendra which is located at the Ground Floor, Mini Secretariat, Gurgaon. (Click here to Get Directions to reach Mini Secretariat).  The Ekal Seva Kendra is open only from Monday to Friday and from 9am to 1pm. And there are no charges for the authorization letter.

If you are going in your car, don’t park outside, there’s plenty of space within the Mini Secretariat complex and you should explore that first.

PS: Please see the comment by Tej below (click here), he mentions that the authorization letter is now available at the HSRP counter itself. This will save you a lot of time and running to the Mini Secretariat.

Step 2: The documents you should keep handy when you visit the Ekal Seva Kendra are;

  • RC of your car (keep the original and a photocopy)
  • ID proof (keep the original and a photocopy)

Step 3: Once you enter the Ground Floor building gate, the Ekal Seva Kendra is to your left. Inside the hall, go straight to the left hand extreme corner at the far end. The person sitting on the left hand corner (he will be the 3rd or 4th person if you start counting from the right) is the person you are looking for. You hand over your RC to him and in no time he’ll give you the authorization letter for your car’s High Security Registration Plate.

Step 4: Now next step involves visiting the place where the High Security Registration Plate fees is paid and the plate is installed. The things you should keep handy here are;

  • Authorization letter you got at the Ekal Seva Kendra
  • RC of your car (keep the original and a photocopy, the guy at HSRP counter charges INR 5 per/photocopy )
  • ID proof (keep the original and a photocopy)
  • Cash (INR 365 for car; keep the exact change, it helps save money)

Reaching this place is a little tricky, however, I would suggest you check with traffic police man on duty in the Mini Secretariat or the parking attendant outside. This place is not too far off from Mini Secretariat (around 1km) but involves driving on the wrong side of the road, and it’s alright too.

To find the location on Google, click here. Once you are near this place, you’ll see long queues outside a building with Apollo red color board – this is the exact place you are looking for.

Step 5: Once you reach here, you’ll need to pay the fees (INR 365 for car) for which you need to stand in the queue (HSRP fees counter) to your right (when you face this building). You’ll need to produce the authorization letter here and a valid ID card. The important point here is, they accept fees only from the person who owns the vehicle (you need to be present there) or maximum from family member (at their own discretion and they will ask for this person’s ID card). Given the amount of rush there, if you are not the owner, they may not accept the fees, so calculate your risks here.

The HSRP fees counter is open only from Monday to Friday and from 9:30am to 1pm.

Once you have paid the fees, they give you a receipt and your day’s job is done. Make sure you keep this receipt safe and sound with you as you’ll need to come back with this receipt after a minimum of four days and produce it at the 2nd counter (to your left when you face this building) and that’s when they’ll give you your car’s High Security Registration Plate and install it too.

Step 6: After a gap of minimum four days (from day of step 5), you’ll have to come back to this same place again (Click here to find location). Here you go to the 2nd counter (HSRP installation counter – to your left when you face this building), show your receipt and then wait till they call out your car’s number or flash your HSRP. The minimum time you can expect is somewhere around 1 hour, rest is your luck.

Needless to mention you’ll also need to keep the RC with you and the most important thing, you’ll need to bring your car with you for sure. About parking the car, there is not much but ample space on the other side of the road and you can park your car there for free.

A person will come carrying your HSRP (both front and back) and will install/fix it on to your car. He’ll not take much time in installing the plates however he’ll ask for some tip for sure. Once you get the new HSRP installed, you’ll be a pretty relieved self.

The HSRP installation counter is open only from Monday to Saturday and from 9:30am to 1pm.

The whole process will take a minimum of 4-5 days (Steps 1 to 5 on day 1 and Step 6 on day 4/5)


If you are a new car owner… 

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If you are a new car owner, then there are two scenarios:

One: You would have crossed the first hurdle automatically, though rest of the journey is equally stressful for all owners. Your car dealer will give you the authorization letter for High Security Registration Plate, this is something as the owner of a car that I had bought last year I suffered the most in figuring out how to get my hands on.

The step-by-step process that you need to follow is mentioned above and best part is you skip the first 3 steps and start off from the Step 4 right away.

Two: Many new buyers are now able to get HSRP installed at the showroom itself. One of my friends bought Hyundai Verna and the dealer installed it at the showroom itself.  Also, Gaurav has posted a comment below about similar experience with his scooter. So this in fact is a really a good news and relief for the new buyer.

There is one more thing that will matter to you here and that’s the road you’ll take to reach HSRP fees and installation counter if you are coming from the Rajiv Chowk (you can go to the Mini Secretariat and follow the path mentioned above in Step 4). For that you can follow the following map, it again looks like going in the wrong way, and that’s right also, the only thing is that everyone uses it. The moment you take a turn from Rajiv Chowk towards the Mini Secretariat/Old Gurgaon side, immediately take a left turn. You’ll see lots of cars using this route, and there’s a proper barrier there to keep the traffic segregated and in line. Just follow the black line shown in picture below, or the car in front of you till you hit the first T-point (there’s a Wine Shop there) and take a right turn and the place you are looking for is right there.

 

And yes, for you too the whole process will take a minimum of 4/5 days (Steps 5 on day 1 and Step 6 on day 4/5).

waytohsrpgurgaon

If you own a bike… 

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If you own a bike, then the procedure and process is the same as for the car. The only difference is that you pay less than INR 150 for HSRP and the amount is different for a bike and different for a scooter.


If you own a truck, heavy vehicle, etc… 

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I am not sure of the entire process that you’ll need to follow, but what I found out was that for an old truck/heavy commercial vehicle, instead of Ekal Seva Kendra you will need to visit the RTO office. I don’t have any more information for you and I don’t want to misguide you here.

Spread the word…

I hope the above information is useful to you. I had a tough time getting this all together, getting the right procedure and process, finding the places and ways to reach them. I hope sharing it will make someone’s life easy.

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